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William Sitwell, author of A History of Food in 100 Recipes, joins Linda Pelaccio for this week's episode of A Taste of the Past to talk about the evolution of the food industry over hundreds of years. Tune in to hear William talk about the initiation of fast food and supermarkets, and how the idea of self-service mechanized the business of eating. From Mesopotamia to Mario Batali, William highlights and reproduces important recipes in order to transport the reader to specific time periods. How do different foods denote status? Learn about William's literary lineage, and how that inspired his writing. How did William decide to outline his book, and why does food history research require primary sources? Find out all of this and more on this week's edition of A Taste of the Past! Thanks to our sponsor, Hearst Ranch, and thanks to Plexophonic for today's break music.

"Food is a wonderful subject for journalists because it touches on so many aspects of everyone's lives." [3:30]

-- William Sitwell on A Taste of the Past


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This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda welcomes Cindy Lobel to the program. Cindy is an assistant professor of history at Lehman College, a cultural historian with interests in urban development and consumer culture as well as the history of New York. Today she and Linda discuss her book, Urban Appetites: Food and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York. Was New York City the first in the country to have a restaurant? What was the first restaurant to open in New York City? Surprisingly, it seems as though present day New York food scene is not so different than it was in the 1800s. Tune in as Cindy takes us through the beginnings of restaurants in New York City and how the now flourishing industry evolved through the years. This program has been sponsored by Cain Vineyard and Winery.

"People think that New York was born with the Zagat Guide, and that of course is not the case... free standing restaurants have a history in New York." [5:40]

"The rise of restaurants is really tied to the growth of the city." [8:10]

-- Cindy Lobel on A Taste of the Past


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"A cold chain is a supply chain that transports and stores temperature sensitive perishable goods. The most visible manifestation of the cold chain is the electric household refrigerator." - Jonathan Rees

The world was changed by the innovation of refrigeration. This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio is joined by Dr. Jonathan Rees. Dr. Rees is a professor of history at Colorado State University - Pueblo, and the author of Refrigeration Nation. Tune in to hear about the origins of the ice industry and ice boxes, and learn about 'the cold chain'. Find out how compression refrigeration developed during the Civil War era, and why the marketing of refrigerators in the 1940s relied on size. Learn why cold storage was a controversial political issue, and how refrigeration was essential to the development of the supermarket. How were frozen foods received upon their arrival? Find out on this week's edition of A Taste of the Past! This program has been sponsored by Regional Access. Music by Jack Inslee.

"Ice was something that all classes were interested in, whether or not all classes could afford it." [5:50]

"Producing food and having it spoil is just as harmful to the environment as refrigeration." [17:10]

-- Dr. Jonathan Rees on A Taste of the Past


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